Indoor plants not only bring beauty to our indoor spaces but provide many additional benefits as well, such as; increasing oxygen levels, air purification, release of water vapor and some studies have shown plants will aid in patient recovery and assist with mental focus. When we breath we take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, plants are our perfect living partners as they require carbon dioxide to complete photosynthesis and release oxygen as a byproduct. An additional byproduct of the photosynthetic process is the production of water vapor which will increase the humidity of the air in a room helping to keep skin moisturized and relieve respiratory irritation.
In the 1980s NASA and the Associate Landscape Contractors of America conducted research into using plants for the purification of indoor air, which can be more polluted than air outside. They found that many plants filter out commonly found volatile organic compounds (VOCs-includes formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene; all found in household products) and subsequent studies, published in the Journal of American Horticultural Science has corroborated these results.
Research at Kansas State University yielded findings that having plants in hospital rooms sped up the recovery patients following surgery. Compared to rooms without plants, patients with plants required less pain medication, had lower heart rates and blood pressure and were released sooner. Studies commissioned by the Dutch Horticultural Board and the Agricultural University of Norway revealed that plants in office settings reduced head colds, sore throats and flu-like symptoms by approximately 60 percent.
Additionally research conducted by the Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England indicates that having plants in libraries, and classrooms increases attentiveness, focus and even attendance of students by up to 70 percent. Discussed below are some of the most beneficial and easiest kept indoor plants.